The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 185 - 1 February 2017
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In This Issue
Data Residency Upset
CSCC Statistics
Open Group Statistics
Jack Dongarra on HPC
Panel on Ethics in AI
Pete Norvig on AI and Machine Learning
Seen Recently
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As at least one astute reader noticed, the last issue had the wrong number and date in the header. It was in fact Issue 184 of 16 January. Apologies!
Data Residency Upset
After the European Court of Justice decision, in October 2015, to invalidate the so-called "safe harbor" agreement between the European Union and the US regarding the storage of personal data, it took about six months of laborious negotiations to replace it with the new "EU-US Privacy Shield."

Another six months later, the situation is up in the air again. One of the executive orders signed by President Trump in late January directs US agencies to deny non-US citizens the personal data protection afforded to citizens -- effectively reneging on the commitments made by the US in order to reach agreement on the privacy shield. It is now up to the European Union to decide whether the pact is dead or not. If it is, it means that Google, Amazon, Microsoft and others could be denied the right to host the files and e-mail accounts of European citizens. The plot thickens...
CSCC Statistics
The Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC) has compiled its 2016 statistics. It grew by more than 100 members during the year, to a total of 664. There were 137,000 paper downloads. The three most popular papers were "Security for Cloud Computing" (32,000 downloads), "Practical Guide to Cloud Service Agreements" (15,000) and "Impact of Cloud Computing on Healthcare" (11,000).
...and Open Group Statistics
The Open Group passed 550 members in 2016. The number of people certified to apply its architecture framework, TOGAF, now exceeds 60,000. There were over 200,000 document downloads, including 70,000 just for TOGAF.
Jack Dongarra on High-Performance Computing
Jack Dongarra, Professor at the University of Tennessee and Research Staff at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will discuss "Current Trends in High Performance Computing and Challenges for the Future" during a live ACM Webinar on February 7 a noon EST (1700 GMT). Register here.
Panel on Ethics in A.I.
This may sound like the famous three laws of robotics posited by Isaac Asimov, but it is more directly applicable to the work of today's computer scientists and software developers. "Panel and Town Hall: Big Thoughts and Big Questions about Ethics in Artificial Intelligence" was presented by the ACM on January 25 and is now available for replay. The panelists include Joanna Bryson of the University of Bath in England, Francesca Rossi from the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center and the University of Padova, Stuart Russell from UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco, and Michael Wooldridge from the University of Oxford.
And Speaking of A.I.
Another ACM event available for replay on demand is "Town Hall with Peter Norvig on A.I., Machine Learning, and More", originally presented on December 8. The speaker is Director of Research at Google Inc.
Seen Recently...
"Bitcoin is a wonderful demonstration of how some of the marvelous attributes of physical cash can be achieved in a digital world, especially the ability to transact without a third party intermediary. It caused regulatory bodies around the world to stop and question 'what is money, and how should we regulate this?' "
-- Rod Tasker, Financial Payments Consultant, in a panel discussion set up by Maven
"The average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year."
"Without requirements or design, programming is the art of adding bugs to an empty text file."
-- Louis Srygley, Application Architect at UPS